By Gwendolyn Craig
A “glamping” destination—that is, a fancy form of camping—is coming to Lake Luzerne.
It’s called Huttopia, and it will have more than 100 camping sites, most of which will be connected to water, wastewater and electric utilities.
The tourist destination will be on Lake Avenue near Route 9N at the site of the former Mt. Kenyon Campground. Besides the accommodations, Huttopia will have a playground, pool and a 3,000-square-foot building that will house a café, lounge and recreation space.
The Adirondack Park Agency in March approved Huttopia’s application for its seasonal tourist operation on rural use lands in the park.
Karen Putney, zoning officer for Lake Luzerne, said Huttopia submitted its applications to the town planning board last year. Now that the APA has given its approval, the planning board will hold a meeting to approve the application.
But the coronavirus pandemic has complicated plans. Meetings have been postponed, Putney said, and Huttopia representatives said they’re not able to work on construction anyway, with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive order halting nonessential construction.
The plan is to have an opening date in 2021, Margaux Bossanne, a representative of the company, said in an email.
Despite the setbacks, the company is still excited to build its third location in the United States. Huttopia, a France-based company that began about two decades ago, has other campgrounds in New Hampshire and Maine, and internationally in Canada and Europe.
Bossanne said the company was drawn to the Adirondacks because of its reputation as a tourist region.
“The founders (of Huttopia) were lucky to travel there a few times when they lived in Canada, and they really like the area,” Bossanne said.
Overall the Lake Luzerne campground plans to accommodate up to 300 people. The tent-like cabins are all made of wood and canvas.
“We try to adapt to our natural surroundings without impacting it,” Bossanne said. “We wish for our guests to reconnect with nature and with each other, escape daily life.”
According to the APA permit, Huttopia will operate between May 1 and Oct. 15, with quiet hours between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m.
The campground is near wetlands and Berry Pond Brook, but APA records show restrictions and storm water plans protecting those water bodies.